Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Survey: Still Need YOUR Top 5 Elementary Piano Solos...

As a brief aside to the last post, Survey: Your Top 5 Elementary Piano Solos of All Time, I should have mentioned that I am collecting this information as a precursor to a fun project that I am working on, which will culminate with some giveaways of that project!

Trust me, you do not want to miss out on this! To participate, please leave a comment below this post, or the previous one, listing YOUR 5 favorite elementary piano solos of all time, from the "traditional" repertoire and/or the "pedagogical" repertoire.

As soon as the project is ready, two names will be drawn from the list of those of you who comment, and the giveaway will be yours!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Survey: Your Top 5 Elementary Piano Solos of All Time

The past few weeks have been exceptionally busy as I have already been preparing for the start of another wonderful year of teaching. As I have scoured my music collection searching for the perfect materials for each student for this new year, choosing tried-and-true favorites as well as offering new selections to my students, I began to wonder what YOUR favorite piano pieces are: those favorites that suit so many students, that are a blast to perform, that you and your students love, that audiences love to hear, and that, at least for the foreseeable future, will be a staple in your library of student repertoire.

To offer your top 5 elementary piano solos (traditional  repertoire, pedagogical pieces by composers such as Alexander, Bober, etc.), please leave a comment below. Thanks, and check back often to see what others have shared!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Finding My Place: My Musical Struggle with Chronic Illness

Finding My Place

From Tenure-Track Faculty to At-Home Wife and Part-Time Piano Teacher:
My Musical Struggle with Chronic Illness
January 2012

In the late 1990s, as an impressionable and eager graduate student, I was encouraged by my piano pedagogy professor to attend MTNA national conferences, NCKP conferences, and additional local and state conferences as often as I could. These experiences truly broadened my perspective as a young teacher and changed the way I approached my future career as a music professor. After attending a few conferences, my professor and I presented a session at a state conference, and I admit I was absolutely hooked from that point forward and wanted to experience the excitement of sharing knowledge again. Together we prepared and presented a research poster session at the next year’s MTNA conference, then as a doctoral student and young faculty member, I presented more poster sessions on my own. My future goals immediately began to form and included the desire to communicate more research via workshops, poster sessions, and articles at local, state, and national venues, and become a strong and contributing leader within the national piano pedagogy community. This was my professional goal and the place I desired and aspired to be.

Fast-forward a few years to 2007. As a young full time faculty member, I attended the MTNA National Conference in Toronto and continued learning, forming new perspectives towards my own teaching, and assembling ideas into prospective sessions and articles. I was excited to return home and begin focusing my attention on these new projects. However, during the first part of my plane ride, high above the snowy landscape of the Rocky Mountains, I was stricken with terrible pains radiating throughout my body. I had no idea what was happening to me because nothing like this had ever occurred before. I thought to myself, “If I could just get home and lie down, everything will be okay.” I didn’t know it at the time, but that moment as the plane touched down in Denver was the last moment I would think of myself, my career, and my life in the same way.

Throughout the coming months, I continued to experience more severe pain and brain fog (which is exactly what it sounds like), and I became more and more fatigued, irritable, anxious, and depressed. Then one day in September 2008 it happened. I awoke one morning and for a moment thought I was paralyzed. Read More...
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